A Common Sense Precaution
When many of my constituents hear that I plan to introduce a bill to ban the artificial sweetener aspartame in the upcoming legislative session, I get a lot of very strange looks. Or worse.
The American Diabetes Foundation, for example, considers aspartame almost sacramental for persons with the disease they battle, one that makes consumption of sugar very dangerous. To hear their lobbyists tell it, aspartame is the modern scientific equivalent of Lourdes water for diabetics: If you take away my soft drinks with aspartame, what am I supposed to drink, then, huh? (On each occasion that sentiment is expressed to me, I have to bite my tongue not to gently, but sarcastically, suggest cold water, unsugared ice tea or skim milk - all perfectly drinkable alternatives, but not acceptable solutions for carbonation-crazed Coke or Pepsi devotees.)
Aspartame is currently used in over 6,000 processed foods in this country, practically everything that passes itself off as a lite or nonfat food or drink. Banning it, I am scolded, will create a massive economic depression, leading to factory closures, layoffs of thousands of workers, bank failures and rioting in the streets. Even the Coca-Cola corporation, which looks at a casual glance like a fairly prosperous company - even an incredibly profitable one, I would think - will be, I am assured, destroyed by such a ban - a very heavy burden to lay on my shoulders.
Meanwhile, dozens of corporate lobbyists (the worlds second-oldest profession) are praying that I introduce the measure again, as it would occasion a windfall profit of extravagant expenditures for their services when every soda pop manufacturer in the country rushes to hire clever mouthpieces to protect their interests from our attack. It is a veritable full-employment-for-lobbyists initiative.
To be candid, the chances of our efforts succeeding in the face of the phalanx of three-piece suits and slick leather briefcases that will be arrayed against our tiny cadre of concerned health advocates is extremely slim. Still, it is absolutely worth doing, I am convinced, if it furthers the awareness-expanding process and builds on the excellent work that is being done by the aspartame whistle-blowers - like Santa Feans Stephen Fox and Dr. Kenneth Stoller, and the remarkable Dr. Betty Martini from Atlanta - whose tireless advocacy is slowly turning the tide of public opinion against this absolutely worthless and extremely dangerous substance. It is even worth risking the destruction of the Coca-Cola empire, apparently much more fragile than any of us ever imagined.
For those wishing to become more familiar with the aspartame menace, a good starting point would be the two hour-long documentary films (available as DVDs) produced by Cori Brackett: Sweet Misery and Sweet Remedy, available through Sound and Fury Productions at www.soundandfury.tv. What you see in these two films is a frightening case study of how corporate greed can completely overwhelm the supposed protections of our governmental watchdogs, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Environmental Protection Agency, and the state and federal departments of Health.
It is worth taking a moment here to review the history of how a true poison like this might be passed on to us as food over the protests of the scientists who tried to say No! but who were, and who continue to be, subverted by corporate money spent to influence politicians. And it may be instructional to consider as well how this same process of erosion in public protections could actually be going on with ever-growing sophistication and success in many other public health areas of concern, such as mad cow disease and E. coli outbreaks at meatpacking plants.
Coca-Cola has changed 180 degrees from its position on aspartame in 1980. At that time it testified in opposition to aspartame s approval at FDA hearings looking into the safety of it. Now they help finance its defense. Of course, the FDA itself has flipped. Its initial denial was reversed a few years later in 1983, when Donald Rumsfeld (ring a bell?) persuaded the Reagan administration that denial was not bad chemistry but bad politics. At that time Rumsfeld headed Searle, the pharmaceutical firm that helped develop aspartame.
When concerns over the products safety seemed likely to produce lawsuits, Searle sold the manufacturing rights to Monsanto, which in turn peddled them to its current primary producer, the Japanese chemical giant Ajinomoto. That outfit has made billions on the production of this artificial sweetener, a significant percentage of which has gone into shoring up the political fortunes of the company s reputation with American congressional figures.
Brilliantly too, the company has consistently made the American Diabetes Foundation one of the chief beneficiaries of its charitable giving - largesse that has created vast gratitude and easy acceptance of whatever scientific rationales the company chooses to feed the diabetes advocacy community.
Many more studies of the medical effects of aspartame consumption have been undertaken with financing from the industry than by independent researchers. Their findings that the formaldehyde-laced artificial sweetener is perfectly safe are, therefore, of questionable objectivity.
Last year, however, a truly independent assessment was published by an Italian academic researcher, Dr. Morando Soffritti. His findings substantiate the links between aspartame and cancer, calling it a neurotoxin with serious other health consequences and concluding it has major negative impacts on those who ingest it. Soffitti s study has been repeatedly attacked by industry spokespeople and their paid researchers, but its conclusions stand substantially intact. In Europe and in India, its impact is already producing governmental action to restrict or remove aspartame.
Efforts to act similarly in this country have been solely at state levels so far, though the recent congressional changes may open the door to much more active oversight by the Feds than was possible under the previous leadership. Nevertheless, I would like to proceed with our state initiative. It will, win or lose, further the effort to draw attention to the serious medical dangers that aspartame represents. It would serve as a precaution and could save lives.
New Mexico Senator Jerry Ortiz y Pino
Let Your voice be heard
All members of the New Mexico Legislature are listed with their contact information on the Legislature website: legis.state.nm.us/. The telephone number for the Legislature is 986-4300.
If you, a friend or a family member is the victim of aspartame or Splenda poisoning, your phoning and writing to the Attorney General s Office to encourage punitive and exemplary damage suits will be helpful, particularly:
Attorney General Gary King, 505 - 827-6000, in the Paul Bardacke Attorney General Complex
Deputy Attorney General Stuart Bluestone, 505 - 827-6004
Readers can also make their views known directly to Dr. Andrew C. Von Eschenbach, Commissioner of the United States Food and Drug Administration: commissioner@FDA.gov.
In order to obtain United States Senate hearings in the Health and Judiciary committees on the forced approval for aspartame in 1981 (see September 2005 Sun Monthly article Rumsfeld's Disease: A Politically Induced Biochemical Disaster of Global Proportions ), please write a letter via regular mail to:
Senator Edward Kennedy, Chairman, U.S. Senate Health Committee
Senator Patrick Leahy, Chairman, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, United States Senate, Washington, D.C. 20510. Or e-mail them at http://kennedy.senate.gov/senator/contact.cfm and firstname.lastname@example.org.
All members of the U.S. Senate Health and Judiciary committees should learn of your concerns as well. Their e-mail addresses are listed at http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm.
Note From Dr. Betty Martini, D.Hum, Mission Possible International:
With regard to Senator Ortiz y Pino's remarks about aspartame and diabetes, in another article he mentions it seems aspartame makes it worse. He is right. According to H. J. Roberts, M.D., diabetic and aspartame expert, aspartame can not only precipitate diabetes, but also aggravates and simulates diabetic retinopathy and neuropathy, destroys the optic nerve, causes diabetics to go into convulsions and even interacts with insulin. ASPARTAME DISEASE; AN IGNORED EPIDEMIC, H. J. Roberts, M.D., 1038 pages, www.sunsentpress.com
Also on www.dorway.com scroll down to experts:
Dr. H. J. Roberts: Aspartame and diabetes and hypoglycemia
Dr. Jayshree Barua: Diabetic Journal of India
There are safe alternatives for diabetics, stevia, which you can get in any health food store, and Just Like Sugar made of chicory and orange peel, which you can get in Whole Foods and Wild Oats, etc. There is a large study now on Just Like Sugar and the American Diabetes Assn has asked to add their seal. Splenda should be avoided as its a chlorocarbon poison, and James Turner, Atty, and Citizens for Health have petitioned for recall.
Below my signature is a Canadian Study showing aspartame produces the same effect as sugar.
Let's set a precedent in New Mexico and get it banned. We can if everyone will help. All members of the legislature should get a copy of the post FDA COMMISSIONER LIED TO NEW MEXICO LEGISLATURE: http://www.thenhf.com/articles_417.htm The lobbyists will be preventing some of this same propaganda and more. Dr. H. J. Roberts spoke with Governor Bill Richardson when he was in West Palm Beach and the Governor admitted that aspartame should be banned. Please be sure to write him above
Also, Dr. Morando Soffritti has done a new study showing Coca Cola causes cancer, and remember they knew about the dangers of aspartame before it was approved and put profit before safety: http://www.ramazzini.it/fondazione/docs/NYAS_Coca-Cola_Ramazzini.pdf
Aspartame is a GM product as written by the Independent in the UK. The amino acids are grown on E.coli bacteria, a toxic sludge according to the words of Dr. Bill Deagle. The free methyl alcohol converts to formaldehyde and embalms living tissue as proven by the Trocho Study in Barcelona in 1998. This study also showed it damages DNA, and this means it can destroy humanity.
Neurosurgeon Russell Blaylock, M.D., author of Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills now has a lecture: The Truth About Aspartame: www.atavistik.com
Let's get it out of New Mexico and then off the planet. It takes everyone helping. Remember teamwork is the fuel that allows common people to produce uncommon results.
Dr. Betty Martini, D.Hum, Founder
Mission Possible International
9270 River Club Parkway
Duluth, Georgia 30097
CANADIAN STUDY: ASPARTAME PRODUCES THE SAME EFFECT AS SUGAR Nov 2005
The aspartame produces the same effect as sugar in the diabetics who devote themselves to a physical activity
by mailto: email@example.com
Even if it is not a sugar, the aspartame does not put the people diabetics who practise a physical activity with the shelter of the variations of the rate of blood glucose which can lead to hypoglycemia. In fact, this product imitates so much well the sugar of table which it arrives to berner not only the taste buds, but also the system which controls the rate of blood glucose (glycemia). It is what work shows that coed-enquiring Annie Ferland realized with Paul Poirier, Simone Lemieux, Jean Bergeron, Ginette Turbide, Lison Fournier and Jos Bergeron. The study undertaken by this team on the aspartame was the presentation on May 13 object at the time of the Scientific workshop of the Research center of the Laval Hospital.
The researchers have known for several years that, in the diabetics of the type 2, the practice of a physical activity after an induced meal of stronger variations of the glycemia than a meeting of exercises carried out with jeun. In the first two hours which follow a meal, the glycemia of the diabetics rises - especially if the consumed food is rich in sugars - and it goes down again quickly if there is physical activity. More the glycemia reaches a raised level, plus the subsequent risks of hypoglycemia induced by the exercise increase, explains Annie Ferland.
Does the food which contains substitutes of sugar as the aspartame cause them also these glycemic Russian mountains? To have the cur Net of it, the researchers invited ten subjects diabetics with a training session 60 minutes on ergocycle. This meeting proceeded at jeun or two hours after a meal sweetened with sucrose (sugar of table) or aspartame. Even if the calorific contents of the dish containing of the aspartame were 20% weaker than that sweetened with the sucrose, the two meals caused a similar rise of the glycemia, followed by a fast fall coinciding with the beginning of the meeting of exercises. On their side, the subjects with jeun did not undergo significant variations of glycemia. We were surprised by our own results, admits Annie Ferland. As the aspartame is not a sugar and like the dish containing of the aspartame had an index glycemic less raised, we did not think of causing a reaction similar to the sucrose at our subjects.
The brain reacts to a meal containing of the aspartame as if it were about sugar, coed-enquiring Faculty of pharmacy notes. However, the aspartame is a small protein made up of two amino acids. One needs from 160 to 220 times less aspartame that of sugar to produce a taste sweetened equivalent, so that the contribution of this sweetening substance to the calories contained in drinks and food is about null. One of the nutritional recommendations made to the diabetics precisely consists in replacing sugar by a substitute like the aspartame; approximately 65% of the diabetics respect this instruction besides.
Which lessons are necessary to draw from this study? Our results reaffirm the effectiveness of the regular practice of the physical activity like method of control of the glycemia, notes initially Annie Ferland. They also show that the practice of the physical activity with jeun does not pose a problem for the control of the glycemia. As regards the exercise after a meal, the people diabetics must know that their glycemia is likely to drop quickly, especially if it is high at the beginning, if the exercise is vigorous and if the diabetes is severe. The important thing is to anticipate what can occur and not to believe that the aspartame can secure important variations of glycemia. The researchers are unaware of for the moment if the other substitutes of sugar produce the same effect as the aspartame at the subject's active diabetics.